Reports: Yankees may or may not have made offer to Kuroda

No use for an off-season plan
Mailbag: Moseley, Kuo, Soriano, Cashman

10:03am: Both Bryan Hoch and Erik Boland have shot this down, saying the Yankees haven’t made an offer to Kuroda.

8:30am: Via Sponichi (translated article), the Yankees have offered free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda a one-year contract worth approximately ¥936,000,000. That’s $12M in U.S. dollars, which is right in line with the $12-13M he’s said to be seeking. The 36-year-old righty is willing to pitch on the East Coast after the Dodgers pushed him out the door, and I’m a definite fan. I do wonder how much Russell Martin will factor into Kuroda’s decision; they were a battery for the first three years of his MLB career. Familiarity doesn’t hurt.

No use for an off-season plan
Mailbag: Moseley, Kuo, Soriano, Cashman
  • Stevis

    I like it…. way better option than Colon

  • nsalem

    agreed would be a great addition

  • Jake H

    I like that it’s short term.

  • Dave

    Hope this doesnt mean no Yu

    • Bavarian Yankee

      that’s what I thought. Signing both would be awesome and I hope a possible signing of Kuroda doesn’t mean that they won’t bid big for Darvish.

  • Yu aint Matsuzaka

    So I’d assume that Burnett would definitely land on the trading block OR Hughes would transition back into the pen full time.

    • Jesse

      Hughes is a rotation guy.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’d guess there would be a ST competition, and maybe even on-going into the season. Nova and Garcia might have an advantage after 2011 and I especially don’t see leaving Nova out in ST, but they’re pretty big wildcards themselves.

      • Nick

        I think Garcia and Burnett are the first two to go. This is Hughes last year to prove himself as a starter, otherwise he’ll get traded or non-tendered. They wont pay him 5-6 million to be a reliever in 2013. I think they will give him every opportunity to be a starter this year.

        • Ted Nelson

          I would imagine they’d have a competition to see how everyone looks entering a new season. Hughes was just awful in 2011, and I don’t see his new short-arm delivery working… ever. I don’t think they’ll cost themselves games to give him a position he clearly hasn’t earned. He might get the benefit of the doubt in a close competition.

          $5 million is practically the average salary the Yankees pay a reliever, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pay that if Hughes does well in the pen. I would be more surprised to see them non-tender him if he’s useful.

      • mike

        exactly – both pitchers have huge question marks, and Colon was better than both of them for the beginning of the season.

        • Nick

          But Colon practically died at the end of the year, and Hughes pitched well….so it’s close.

          As for the competition, that will definitely happen. But, it will probably be like 2010 where it is Hughes to lose. The dude was bad because he wasn’t healthy. It’s not like he just sucks like AJ haha.

  • TogaSean

    For one year, I like this.

  • Steve (different one)

    I think this is a very good idea, but I would be surprised if he took a one year deal. It shouldn’t preclude a bid on Darvish, but you have to prepare for he possibility that you don’t win the bid. Too many things you can’t control with the posting process.

  • Damix

    From the ‘getting under luxury tax threshold’ perspective, these 1 year deals make sense. Gives us more time to see what we have internally.

    Even without the posting fee counting, Yu costs ~10 million a year. If we can get one of Man-Ban/Betances into the rotation instead, that’s 9.5 million we can spend elsewhere/save in 2014.

    That said, I still really like Yu, and 10 million is not too much to pay for a front line pitcher.

    • Damix

      And to follow up on this comment, I wonder if we didn’t sign Garcia too soon. Was the interest in him so great that we couldn’t wait till later in the off season to better evaluate if we need him?

      Luckily at 4 million, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he is our long reliever.

      • Steve (different one)

        I don’t know, a few pitchers similar to Garcia got 2 year deals. I think the Yankees did very well on that deal.

        • Damix

          True, wonder if Harang or Garcia are worth more this year (and next).

  • nucchemist

    Could he also be a mentor to Yu? Having a fellow Japanese player for a year could help immensely.

    • MannyGeee

      I always feel like these comments borderline on racist.

      Asian immigrants can surely (with the help of 10s of millions of dollars can assimilate to the United States without another Asian co-worker. Call it a hunch

      • Ed

        so the mere stating of fact that people gravitate to their race or gender is now considered racism-sexism?

        Oh boy.

        • Dicka24

          Oh boy indeed.

      • JAG

        Look, I’d be the first to jump all over actually racist comments, but given that Darvish would be literally entering a new culture to which he is unaccustomed, speaking a language with which he is unfamiliar, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that having someone who you can speak to and commiserate with might be helpful. Unless you’re suggesting that players from Spanish-speakign countries don’t ever look to socialize with other Spanish-speaking players either.

        Obviously it would help more if Kuroda was actually friends with Darvish (like CC and Cliff Lee were purported to be), but I don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that a player who has had success adapting to a new league and a new culture could be a useful ally/friend to a player attempting the same thing.

  • VD

    Add Darvish to the mix and we have the Nippon Yankees for 2012

  • Henry

    Can’t help but thinking maybe this would make Yu more comfortable if he were to come on board. Being that he is one of the few successful pitchers that have come over. Maybe a fellow established countryman will help him get better acquainted. However, if we don’t get this it will all be moot, and, for the record, I am not saying they want Kuroda to then sign Yu, just offering my worthless 2 cents

    • fresco

      I agree with this premise. I believe that while the yankees obviously think the japanese shortstop and kuroda will help the 2012 team there has to be some kind of alterior motive in that they want to make Yu as comfortable as he could be and adding 2 of his countrymen would surely do just that.

  • ion

    I wonder if this means no yu

    •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      I’m wondering the same. That would kinda suck.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    If it does not hurt Yu then I am on board for one year.(pun intended). Acquiring Kuroda in order to have a friend for Davish does nothing if we do not win the posting fee. I still believe that Noesi could do better than Kuroda and for much less but that is my opinion.

    • Jesse

      Please, will you stop with this narrative that two Japanese players can be friends just because they’re from the same country? If this is the case, than Yu Darvish would end up on the Mariners or another team with a Japanese player just so he can have a friend. That’s like saying Mark Buehrle, or another white player, will sign with the Yankees just because there are other white players on the team, thus he’ll have a friend…

      • mike

        Its not a narrative – its common sense that the presence of a culturally-familiar person, be it in language, customs or even food, makes any transition easier.

        Not that they will be friends or BFF, but it helps..

        ask why certain Yanks hang out with eachother ( ie Swish, Damon, Robertson, Gardner went to a concert at one time…..any similarity you might note? Arod working out with Melky and Cano….???)

        also – ever been on vacation to a foreign country…always seem to find other Gringos from America to have dinner with, irrespective of how deeply you want to immerse yourself in a new culture

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s a bit of a narrative, but also holds a grain of truth.

          Depends on the situation. If Yu hates Kuroda’s guts, or just finds him annoying or hard to talk to… probably not going to help. If Yu speaks English fluently–and I believe his parents met in the US–there might be little/no language barrier. If Yu is looking for Japanese friends in NYC… there are Japanese people who don’t play for the Yankees. Yu is half Persian and might be as likely to look for a Persian friend to shoot the shit in Farsi as a Japanese friend.

          Finally, if there are big barriers a Kuroda could act as more of a crutch than anything. If he’s the only friend Yu makes and then leaves after one season… could hurt more than help long-term.

          Or it could help out big time. But assuming it will definitely help is pretty ignorant, I agree with Jesse there.

        • MannyGeee

          But A-Rod hangs with MO, and he’s Panamanian…

          Its a false narrative that people cannot assimiliate without someone to comfort him. Ask Hideki Matsui. he seemed to do OK.

          its a pretty closed minded incination that he wont be able to hang. if hes a human (and not a douche like reports had Dice-K of doing) and a ball player, I think he’ll be just fine, with or witthout Kuroda.

          • Mike Axisa

            People also seem to be ignoring that Darvish can speak English. Not fluently, but he can carry on a conversation.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          CC hangs out with everyone

      • Chris

        Not at all, you are mixing race with ethnicity. If the comment was because he is Asian then yea, it makes no sense but to have someone who speaks your language, is from your home country and can help you transition into a new way of life then I see it as a plus. Also Kuroda spent time in the 2nd largest media market in the US so his advice when it comes to the media would help Darvish as well. These are things that race play no part in but ethnicity do.

        I look at it like this. If the best sport was not in the USA, and I went to a non native english speaking country to play there, hell yea I’d look for a team with an American on it, not just a “white guy” because plenty of white people speak no english i.e. French Canadians, Germans etc…

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          Two guys from your country > 1 Bobby Valentine.

        • Ted Nelson

          I see what you’re saying about race vs. ethnicity, but it’s still a big assumption that one other guy of the same ethnicity is going to be your bud. Certainly could be, but it’s far from assured. I don’t know much about Yu’s personality, but as a half-Persian whose parents apparently met in the US… he might be less sheltered in Japanese culture than people seem to think.

          I knew two Argentine girls in Madrid, for example, who were so similar that they totally clashed. Would seem like they’d have common ground because of all their similarities, but they were both psychotic and hated each other’s guts.

      • Shnooda1

        Jesse if u were going to play in japan dont u think itd be nice to play for a team that has another white player or 2? Someone u can maybe go out with ay night dinner wutever. U couldnt be more wrong in this situation. A translator isnt a friend hes a nerd thats mastered another language.

        • Chris

          Ugh…THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE WHITE! So in your head you wouldn’t go to a team in Japan that has Granderson, Carl Crawford or Tori Hunter? Its ETHNICITY! The idea is that the guy understands the culture because he grew up in it and can communicate with you!

          • Ted Nelson

            I’m not saying it’s at all right or I agree… but there absolutely are racist people and I assume some of them post here. Shnooda1 might only want to hang out with other white dudes… or just rarely have ever been around people unlike Shnooda1. A guy Tyrone yesterday posted something basically implying that he’d like to just see the Yankees add all the US black players they can, and that would make him happy.

            Hard to say Yu or Kuroda’s personal preferences in these matters without knowing them, which is why jumping to conclusions seems odd to me. For all I know Kuroda might be a pretty racist dude who has no interest in talking to Yu because he feels his parents basterdized the Japanese race by mating (Yu’s dad is Persian). It’s not necessarily that likely, but along with all the other factors to consider I’d say there’s little need to jump to conclusions about how two individuals will get along.

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        Yu Darvish would end up in Seattle if the Mariners win the bid. Yu has no say on where he goes until he is a free agent. Maybe iI should have said Japanese speaker instead of friend.

        • Henry

          It’s not about them being best friends, I never meant for that to be what i was trying to get at. What i was trying to say was that maybe since Kuroda has already experienced the very same transition tha Darvish will be going to go through, he can just simply help his transition go smoother. Basically help guide him as a mentor.

        • Henry

          It’s not about them being best friends, I never meant for that to be what i was trying to get at. What i was trying to say was that maybe since Kuroda has already experienced the very same transition tha Darvish will be going to go through.

  • Greg Price

    Gotta love the translated article.

    Confucius say:

    “Scout troops are the seen but five games this season, even when seen, what has never been bad.”

    “Other teams or major transfer or return of Hiroshima. “

  • nycsportzfan

    Good thinking and a quality pitcher who i could see end up winning 18plus games with a actual good team behind him Kuroda can flat out pitch and i think if he joins the yanks His Win Total will be the most noticable change from his days with the dodgers Get this done yanks!

  • Gerald Williams

    Love the move and would love Yu as well!

  • Sal

    He sucks and he will get lit up in the AL. Get someone better through the trade market!!!!!!

    • Esteban

      Is this SBGL?

    •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Solid level-headed comment.

    • Pasqua

      The six exclamation points indicate that the commenter is emotionally invested in his remarks.

  • mike

    first step in a negotiation….this drives up the price of Kuroda to anyone else who wants him, be it in years or AAV salary (hello, Boston), reinforces the floor value they can get for AJ in a trade, and might serve as a comfort factor for the different Japanese players the Yanks are likely targeting.

    very intelligent move, beyond the micro of adding a quality mid-rotation arm to the team to replace what Colon offered

  • UncleArgyle

    Definately on board with going after Kuroda. I doubt this will have any impact on the Darvish posting, Yankees probably have had a posting number in their collective heads for months now.

  • Dave

    Axisa scoops MLBTR! Well done.

  • Plank

    So the team next year could have 3 Japanese players. Has that ever happened in MLB before?

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    At worst, a solid placeholder until Banuelos and Betances are ready to join the roation and 2013 FA class takes shape. At best, a solid placeholder and insurance policy for Darvish and if Darvish winds up not walking on water upon arriving on US soil.

    No matter what, probably one of the smarter moves the team could make this off-season.

  • mrpappageogio

    If i were a mlb pitcher going to Japan to pitch, have never been there before, do not speal the language or understand the culture, and there was an American pitcher on the team who had been there for several years and could tell me the do’s and dont’s and hellp me, it would be of immense help.

    If (and that’s a bif IF) part of this signing is to help Yu with the change in culture, language, habits, etc., it makes sense.

    Having said that it strengthens the rotation immensley if he accepts.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    Like this very much. But I can see the salary quote in Thai baht please?

    • MannyGeee

      Kuroda will declined based on the Thai Bhat conversion ratio… agreed

  • Bavarian Yankee

    UPDATE via Bryan Hoch: “Yankees have not made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda.”

  • mrpappageogio

    Well shhhhhhhhit

  • Timmer

    Maybe Kuroda and Nakajima could help attract Darvish.

    • bonestock94

      I didn’t know those guys swing that way

    • Ted Nelson

      Getting Yu comes down to winning the “blind” bid more than convincing him you’re the best team.

  • David, Jr.

    Now apparently no offer. Wouldn’t want to get too racy with that budget!

  • Greg c89

    Bad link for “I’m a definite fan”. I think you have an extra /2011/12/ in there.